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Long-term efficacy of psychological treatments for binge eating disorder

  • Anja Hilbert (a1), Monica E. Bishop (a2), Richard I. Stein (a3), Marian Tanofsky-Kraff (a4), Anne K. Swenson (a5), R. Robinson Welch (a2) and Denise E. Wilfley (a2)...

The long-term efficacy of psychological treatments for binge eating disorder remains largely unknown.


To examine the long-term efficacy of out-patient group cognitive–behavioural therapy (CBT) and group interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT) for binge eating disorder and to analyse predictors of long-term non-response.


Ninety people with binge eating disorder were assessed 4 years after treatment cessation within a randomised trial (trial registration: NCT01208272).


Participants showed substantial long-term recovery, partial remission, clinically significant improvement and significant reductions in associated psychopathology, despite relapse tendencies in single secondary outcomes. Body mass index remained stable. While the IPT group demonstrated an improvement in eating disorder symptoms over the follow-up period, the CBT group reported a worsening of symptoms, but treatments did not differ at any time point.


The results document the long-term efficacy of out-patient CBT and IPT for binge eating disorder. Further research is warranted to elucidate the time course and mechanisms of change of these treatments for binge eating disorder.

Corresponding author
Anja Hilbert, Integrated Research and Treatment Center, Adiposity Diseases, Behavioral Medicine, University of Leipzig, Stephanstrasse 9C, 04103 Leipzig, Germany. Email:
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This research was supported by grants R29MH51384, R29MH138403 and K24MH070446 from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). A.H. was supported by grant 01EO1001 from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research; R.I.S. was partly supported by a KL2 Career Development Award and the Clinical and Translational Science Award at Washington University School of Medicine (NIH grants KL2RR024994 and UL1RR024992).

Declaration of interest


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Long-term efficacy of psychological treatments for binge eating disorder

  • Anja Hilbert (a1), Monica E. Bishop (a2), Richard I. Stein (a3), Marian Tanofsky-Kraff (a4), Anne K. Swenson (a5), R. Robinson Welch (a2) and Denise E. Wilfley (a2)...
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